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Has anyone read Alan Vernon's review of Khao San Road? [moved from Ontario board]

foodyDudey Jun 2, 2011 08:42 AM

I just read it and although I have not been there, it makes me feeel like going and checking it out. I'd like to know what others think. Here is a link: http://www.dine.to/profile_features.p...

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Khao San Road
326 Adelaide St W, Toronto, ON M5V 1P7, CA

  1. haggisdragon Jun 2, 2011 09:19 AM

    You know I went for the first time last week and I have to agree with the overall sentiment of this review. We had the fresh spring rolls with chicken sausage (pretty good), squash fritters (huge portion, heavy in the stomach and one note flavour, with the same sauce as the spring rolls), pad kee mao (not bad, a but gloopy), and the pad gra prao with pork (I remarked to my date at the time that I was pretty sure I could whip this dish up at home, but I wouldn't, because it was kinda boring). All of this was washed down by cheap bottle of riesling, marked up to just under three times the lcbo price, and served to us just a bit below room temperature, with no ice bucket. I've been a fan of Sukhothai as a good delivery option, but I won't be rushing back to Khao San Road. I don't care how nice Jeff and Nuit are. I guess all the excitement has been due to the fact that Sukhothai, and Khao San Road are a step up from most of the city's other Thai options. I have to ask you though Mr. foodyDudey. How exactly does this negative review make you feel like checking it out?

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    Sukhothai
    274 Parliament St, Toronto, ON M5A, CA

    Khao San Road
    326 Adelaide St W, Toronto, ON M5V 1P7, CA

    4 Replies
    1. re: haggisdragon
      foodyDudey Jun 2, 2011 11:01 AM

      It makes me want to go check it out because I ordered take out 3 times from Sukhothai, roughly 3 months apart each time. I was completely underwhelmed each time. I just didn't understand what all the hype I read here was about,. So I didn't run over to KSR. I see the people that were promoting it heavily still love it, but it's in an awkward area for me to easily get to from my home. So after reading the review, I wondered, what is this place really like? Am I missing some amazing new Thai place or do I just have different tastes from all who praise it? And that is why I want to go check it out. I want to see if I agree with this review. I admire him for telling it how he sees it. Many other reviewers would not be so candid, they would just beat around the bush if they don't love a place.

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      Sukhothai
      274 Parliament St, Toronto, ON M5A, CA

      1. re: foodyDudey
        Splendid Wine Snob Jun 2, 2011 11:52 AM

        I've enjoyed my meals at KSR (five now to be exact), but the food was definitely not on par with some amazing Thai places in Portland OR I visited last year. There was a depth of flavour in the dishes at Pok Pok that I have yet to taste at KSR. That being said, I continue to enjoy my meals there.

        I do think the prices are slightly too high as well and that's prevented me from dropping in more often.

        1. re: Splendid Wine Snob
          a
          Apprentice Jun 2, 2011 11:57 AM

          Still - would you rank it the best you've had in Toronto? For me, it is - although Linda does "spin" the cuisine beautifully as well.

          There does seem to be a weird cult following to this restaurant that does not allow for criticism.

          1. re: Apprentice
            Splendid Wine Snob Jun 2, 2011 12:01 PM

            Yes, it's the best Thai I've had in Toronto, which is why I continue to go there.

    2. a
      Apprentice Jun 2, 2011 09:49 AM

      I am by no means a Thai expert. However, from what I've tasted I've thoroughly enjoyed the restaurant - though I have not been in about 2 months. A friend of mine who has spent a significant time in Thailand was disappointed that their offerings were "typical".

      1. jlunar Jun 2, 2011 10:18 AM

        While I liked KSR more than Vernon, I think the thoughts are pretty similar. We differ on the pad thai, but I ordered the "street" version and it sounds like he got the regular version.

        --
        http://www.foodpr0n.com/ -- food. is. love.

        1 Reply
        1. re: jlunar
          jlunar Jun 2, 2011 03:05 PM

          Just wanted to follow up b/c I don't want to sound negative about KSR, since that wasn't my experience! I do like KSR, I just found his opinion on the dishes were more negatively skewed, but proportionately so, for the dishes that we both tasted.

        2. estufarian Jun 2, 2011 02:44 PM

          I just checked out the review.
          Advertising from both Urban Thai and Thai Express on the front page, alongside the review.

          Whether or not the critique is justified it certainly leaves a bad taste in the mouth.

          For the record, my review (on the original thread) was positive without being ecstatic. And I have been back. And I will return.
          It's not the finest restaurant in Toronto - but it's significantly better than most other Thai I've tried recently.

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          Urban Thai
          1959 Queen St E, Toronto, ON M4L1H7, CA

          3 Replies
          1. re: estufarian
            haggisdragon Jun 2, 2011 08:38 PM

            So essentially we're just starved for choices when it comes to decent Thai food in Toronto.

            1. re: haggisdragon
              s
              stephen Jun 2, 2011 08:50 PM

              My sad conclusion as well. Why can't we get decent Thai food in TO.

              1. re: stephen
                b
                bigpestle Jun 3, 2011 05:16 AM

                Stephen , haggisdragon, why do you find Thai food in Toronto lacking? Can you make some generalizations, for example different between Thai restaurants owned by different national groups or in different parts of Toronto?

          2. hal2010 Jun 2, 2011 09:24 PM

            I've been twice. For dinner it was not bad, but not exceptional. The Pad Gra Prao was fairly timid without much flavour and a lot of oil. The squash fritters were good tasting, but heavy. Six of them is too much for 2 people, and they were rather pricey in comparison to the rest of the appetizers. The coconut chicken soup was good, but not the best I've had in Toronto - again it was lacking some of that zing you expect from the lime leaf and galangal.

            Then I dropped in for lunch last week and had the curry special which was lukewarm rice and a red curry that was decidedly bland with thin strips of chicken that had a weird texture. It looked like old wrinkled skin. I've had better at Satay on the Road and Riz.

            Maybe they are toning down the flavours for the young business types who seem to frequent the place?

            On the other hand I had a special Southern Thai curry with pineapple at Mengrai Thai a few weeks ago and it was phenomenal. I find them to miss on some dishes too, but this one was incredible.

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